3p Contributor: Brian Thurston

Brian Thurston is a sustainability consultant working on research, strategy and policy development. Brian is interested in building awareness and unique relationships within and between corporate, government, and NGO partners. He holds a BA in Literature from University of Southern California, and a MS in Environmental Policy from The Johns Hopkins University.

Recent Articles

Green Books Campaign: Strategy for Sustainability, A Business Manifesto

| Thursday November 11th, 2010 | 0 Comments

This review is part of the Green Books campaign.Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.

The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on “green” books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.

What do a category-5 hurricane and a global big box retailer have in common? For Adam Werbach, these two seemingly unrelated entities gave him inspiration for a more comprehensive look at sustainable systems thinking, and how this thinking is essential for moving forward in an unpredictable and rapidly changing world.

Opening his new book, Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto, Werbach shares a personal take on the Hurricane Katrina disaster. He recounts a trip he took to New Orleans in 1997 to brief the Mayor’s office on climate change, and the potential catastrophic effects it could have on their city.

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The Story of Cap & Trade (Discussion Follows)

| Tuesday December 1st, 2009 | 12 Comments


They’re at it again – the creative team who brought you the wildly popular Story of Stuff are following up with “The Story of Cap and Trade: Why You Can’t Solve a Problem With the Thinking That Created It.”

Building on the momentum of The Story of Stuff (over 8 million views to date) Annie Leonard and Free Range Studios have teamed up with Climate Justice Now! and the Durban Group for Climate Justice to bring what is to be the first of six short films in the coming year.

Many prominent scientists, politicians and business interests have been on opposing ends of the cap and trade discussion for a long time. Leonard acknowledges that some very smart people (some of them her friends) support cap and trade, but she isn’t convinced. (Watch the video above)

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Maldives Underwater Meeting Catches Media Attention

| Thursday October 15th, 2009 | 4 Comments


Few people appear better positioned for Blog Action Day 2009 than Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed – and it’s been a busy year since he took office. Faced with growing threats of sea level rise, President Nasheed has made some bold claims since his election last November.

From his statement earlier this year that his government would set aside some of the $1 billion a year it earns from the travel and tourism industry to buy land to relocate his people, to his announcment last week that he will hold the first ever cabinet meeting underwater, President Nasheed is proving to be both bold and media savvy.

Obviously the Maldives and other small-island countries have a lot at stake in terms of climate change, and gimmick or not, the underwater meeting has garnered global media attention and it has put this country of less than 400,000 people front and center of the climate change conversation.

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Scaling Back En Route to Copenhagen

| Wednesday October 14th, 2009 | 1 Comment



About 53 days until COP15, and the word compromise is surfacing more and more in discussions around reaching an agreement in December. There is also worry that the U.S. will not have passed any sort of significant climate bill by then, thus hampering their ability to make any real CO2 emissions pledge.

In a joint report written by the Center for American Progress and the United Nations Foundation,  a more manageable set of expectations is recommended to make important strides for talks to move forward – and this includes shelving the idea that developed nations will commit to binding emission target reductions.

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Harrah’s Entertainment Bets On Green

| Thursday October 1st, 2009 | 1 Comment

0Environmental stewardship and casinos don’t seem to sit well together in the same sentence. Just step foot into one and you are bombarded with that amusement park feeling of bright lights and the sounds of cascading coins – a hotbed of excess, but not exactly the poster child of sustainability, right?

Maybe, maybe not – but Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. is putting $60 million over six years toward green projects at their resorts – and since the formation of their Corporate Energy and Environmental Group in 2003, they’ve estimated to have saved more than 100 million kilowatt hours in energy use – enough to power 10,000 homes each year.

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A Rainforest SOS To The World

| Thursday October 1st, 2009 | 1 Comment

300x250Yesterday The Prince’s Rainforest Project launched a global campaign to raise awareness for deforestation. The public campaign was originally launched back in May, garnering over 4 million views of their campaign frog videos and a long line of celebrity and corporate endorsements.

The Prince’s Rainforest Project dates back to 2007 as a reaction to reports issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on tropical deforestation. The group embarked on long research effort, engaging in top officials in government, business and NGO’s to both understand the economic drivers of deforestation and come up with workable solutions to help prevent it.

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This Is Not Walmart’s Index

| Monday September 28th, 2009 | 2 Comments

1Last week Joel Makower of Greenbiz.com hosted a webinar with Rand Waddoups, Senior Director of Strategy/Sustainability from Walmart, to help put some structure to the Sustainability Index Walmart announced about ten weeks ago.

Realizing that the demands of the customer are changing, Walmart is focusing on “innovation and supply chain transparency.” Citing programs like Patagonia’s Footprint Chronicles and SC Johnson’s What’s Inside, Mr. Waddoups referred to sustainability and transparency in business and product sourcing as the “new normal” in customer expectations.

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Your Spongy Laptop Sleeve Giving You a Headache?

| Thursday September 3rd, 2009 | 0 Comments

neogreeneOr maybe that wetsuit sitting in the trunk of your car, or hanging in your closet, is smelling kind of toxic? Well, guess what – you’re right on. Those products, and thousands of others, are made of a material called neoprene – and albeit revolutionary and incredibly versatile in its applications, it is a toxic soup laden with chemicals and compounds such as formaldehyde, PVC, lead and chlorine.

Enter Neogreene. Unlike regular neoprene, Neogreene uses no solvents and only water-based adhesives. What you end up with is a no VOC product that looks and feels like regular neoprene, requires 25% less petroleum and energy to produce, is free of all the major toxic chemicals, is lighter and increases insulation performance.

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Want To Make An Impact?

| Friday May 22nd, 2009 | 2 Comments


Ever thought of starting your own business? I’m sure many of you have, but did you consider, in your business plan, to have no ownership and give away all of your profits? Yeah, I said it: a for-profit company that gives away all of its profits. Sound crazy? Sound good? Well it does to Michael Pirron, CEO of Impact Makers, and their business model just may create a major shift in the way people attack some of today’s most pressing social issues facing our communities.

You may think this sounds like a bad deal, giving away all of your profits, but upon further reflection, with few business categories thriving/growing/building in the current economic climate, perhaps a little shaking up is just what is needed. Impact Makers looks to do just that – turn the consulting industry on its head – and gain some serious attention in the process.

Based in Richmond, Virginia, Impact Makers offers traditional business consulting services at market rates, pays competitive salaries, and gives all the profits to nonprofit partners that are chosen by a non-partisan, volunteer Board of Directors (Impact Makers’ current partner is Rx Partnership, a nonprofit that has provided thousands of low income and uninsured Virginians with free medication, by creating a streamlined process that connects pharmaceutical companies to free clinics and community health centers).

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The City of Brotherly Love Goes Green

| Thursday April 30th, 2009 | 1 Comment

greenworks%20logo.jpgPhiladelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced today their comprehensive Greenworks Philadelphia plan – which highlights their environmental efforts and strategy towards sustainability – with the goal to make Philadelphia “The Greenest City in America” by 2015.

Greenworks Philadelphia is the culmination of 10 months of work with contributions from city employees, nonprofit organizations, civic and business leaders. The plan is broken down into 15 key targets in five focus areas – energy, environment, equity, economy and engagement.

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Dell vs. Apple vs. HP vs…. Who’s Really the Greenest?

| Thursday April 2nd, 2009 | 2 Comments

green-computer.jpgAs more companies are making a case for profits with more sustainable product offerings, who is rising to the forefront? And should we be applauding those going beyond compliance, while at the same time be concerned with their motives?

Have you heard?

In a heavily circulated press release last fall, research done by TDG showed that consumers considered Apple to be the most environmentally friendly consumer technology brand, while a study released last year by the Geneva based firm Covalence, which covers the ethical reputation of companies, lists HP and Dell number one and three respectively in the “best ethical quote score” category, whereas Apple doesn’t even fall in the top ten.

Around the same time Apple announced the release of their “greenest” laptops ever, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen how their latest ad campaign has centered around these assertions ever since.

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